Among Konoe Nobutada's masterpieces is this six-panel screen that includes a waka poem - energetically inscribed in oversized kana - surrounding a sensitively brushed ink painting of a cypress grove. Recent scholarship has attributed the painting to Hasegawa Tohaku, based on a stylistic comparison to the brushwork and artistic expression of his famous Pines in Mist. - John T Carpenter
The scroll, almost fifteen meters long, was designed to be viewed section by section. Delicate silver cranes dance across a golden shore, gliding through clouds of gold, sometimes in graceful formation, other times frolicking. The lavish gold and silver under painting, attributed to Tawaraya Sotatsu, captures the eye first, however it was not intended to be viewed as a self-sustaining composition, but rather as a background to highlight the darlky inked strokes created by the calligrapher's brush. Boldly inscribed by Hon'ami Koetsu in his distinctive calligraphic style, the texts include famous court verses, one by each of the Thirty-six Immortal Poets 0 famous poets of ancient Japan. - from text by John Carpenter.
Late 17th - early 18th century work produced at the official Nabeshima clan kiln in present-day Saga Prefecture.
In the Heian period, the fragrance of aromatic wood was enjoyed by members of court society. The appreciation of incense became formalized in the Muromachi period, and many varieties of monko, literally listening to the incense" were established. Throughout the Edo period, enthusiasts of this widely popular game included members of the warrior class. This set of incense utensils is decorated with such plants and flowers as bush clover, chrysanthemum, peony, camelia, iris, and bamboo arranged in circular motifs in slightly raised gold takamaki-e lacquer." - Suzuki Norio
Bundai (writing table) and suzuribako (writing utensil box) decorated with a combination of bamboo, paulownia, and the phoenix. The background is done using a technique known as nashiji, similar in appearance to the skin of the nashi, or Japanese pear, in which metal flakes are suspended in lacquer.
A lacquer likeness of Mt. Fuji at a Fuji shrine
Buddhist monks with novice at the turn of the century.
Oyoroi (literally "great armor") was the loose-fitting defensive armor of mounted archers that was developed late in the Heian period. It is made chiefly of leather and iron bound together to form horizontal tiers.
The boat is said to have been one of Sutemaru's toys. Resembling a real boat, it has a small cabin at the helm and another at the stern. A board with wheels is attached to the bottom of the boat so that it can be pulled.
A Nagasaki middle school performance of traditional dances.
Depiction of Sakuma Shogen Sanekatsu (1570-1642) sitting in front of a bamboo screen facing his boy attendant. A warrior who first served Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598), Sakuma then seved three successive generations of Tokugawa shoguns: Ieyasu, Hidetada, and Iemitsu.
The Japanese flag waves proudly from the roof of a shrine in Nagasaki.
British soldiers and sailors were made welcome at a gala affair in Hibiya Park after the Japanese British Alliance of 1902 was implemented.
Portrait sculpture of Toyotomi Sutemaru (1589-1591), the first son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598), died when he was just two years old. Hideyoshi built Shounji in eastern Kyoto as the child's memorial temple. This portrait was enshrined there. Made of polychromed wood.
As I was eating breakfast one morning, my host-sister, Yuuki-chan came down in her school uniform. Even though she went to public school, she was required to wear a uniform.
An example of an embarkation card, which everyone entering Japan must fill out.
A giant torii on a mountain path notifies hikers of a nearby shrine.
Photo of the huge red-light district in Tokyo known as Yoshiwara, which flourished for more than three hundred years.
Futabayam Sadaji (1912-1968) remains a magic name in sumo. The 35th Yokozuna, his record of 69 straight wins still stands. This is a picture of him after he won the summer tournament in 1936.
The Chujo mask represents a young aristocrat of early times, with light complexion, high painted eyebrows, and teeth blackened (ohaguro). Traditionally, this mask type is said to have been modeled after Ariwa no Narihira, the famous poet of the Heian period whose court rank was chujo, middle captain, in the headquarters of the Inner Palace Guards. The Chujo mask is used for the role of Prince Genji in the Tale of Genji, and for other courtiers. While Chujo is typically carved with a melancholic exprssion and knitted brows, these ualities are especially formalized and given emphasis in this mask. It was owned by the Konparu family, one of the four main groups of Noh actors. - Matsushima Ken
A verdant growth of dew-laden pampas grass, the moon shining through it, has long symbolized Musashino, the broad grassy plain where the warriors of eastern Japan created the shogunal capital, Edo. As early as the Heian period Musashino served as a theme for literature and painting, and in the Momoyama period the bending, swaying, moonlit grasses became commonplace in the decorative arts as well. This pair of iron tsuba, large and small for a daisho set of swords, is finely decorated with the requisite pampas grass, dew, and crescent moon in openwork, and further ornamented with a hammered-gold inlaid floral scroll. The artist's name, Rakuju, is inlaid in gold to the left of the tang holes. - Hiroi Yuichi
Magazines specializing in manga and anime.
On a man-made island in the middle of a small river sits several statues and pillars in honor of the river god.
The Ginza area of Tokyo. It is estimated that one-hundred thousand people died during the Great Kanto Earthquake, which destroyed most of Yokohama and Tokyo when it struck on Sept. 1, 1923.